Poker Thoughts – My Worst Nightmare

Poker Thoughts – My Worst Nightmare

You had one job, Jungleman.

With a chip lead of more than 5 to 1 in the championship round of Poker Night In America’s recent King of The Hill heads-up tournament, Daniel Cates (AKA ‘Jungleman’) appeared to be on the verge of doing the poker world a huge favor by denying the most arrogant man in poker the chance to become even more arrogant.  When Hellmuth shoved the river with queen high against Jungle’s trip tens, victory and justice seemed all but certain.

But then something strange happened. Jungleman folded.  The board was T23T9 with the 9 of diamonds completing the flush draw on the river.  Cates held T5 and mucked angrily to Hellmuth’s river jam after Phil had previously raised the turn.

Obviously, I’d call here, as would most players. But I’m certainly not qualified to criticize Jungleman’s decision making.  He is legitimately one of the best heads-up NLH players on the planet, and I’m sure his reasoning was sound.  Also, and it fucking kills me to type this, kudos to Hellmuth on exploiting his own tight image.  For years, many of us have wondered how the hell this guy ever wins, since all he ever seems to do is make huge mistakes against the game’s best on television.  But this hand shows that maybe he’s not the fish he’s seemed to be all these years.  I’ve long suspected that his success in poker is largely due to his ability to make plays like this against amateurs who are fooled by his tight TV image.  He likely profits greatly off of amateurs trying to bluff him constantly and over-folding to him in spots like this.

The thing is , it’s not supposed to work againt Jungleman.  It hasn’t worked often for Phil against players of this caliber in the past (at least, not on television).

With one river bluff, Hellmuth has likely extended his time in the spotlight considerably.  Which is likely great news for television ratings, but terrible news for those of us who want to watch poker without having to constantly hit the mute button.

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